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Singapore Airlines CEO apologizes for 'traumatic experience' after deadly turbulence

One person was killed in the incident and dozens were hurt.
Thailand Singapore Flight
Posted at 8:12 AM, May 22, 2024

The CEO of Singapore Airlines is apologizing after severe turbulence on a recent flight left one person dead and dozens injured.

Flight SQ321 was 10 hours into its route from London to Singapore Tuesday when it experienced “sudden extreme turbulence,” according to CEO Goh Choon Phong. Witnesses aboard the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft said people were sent hurling into the overhead bin area.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident,” Goh said in a video message posted by the airline.

“On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased. We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ321 went through. Our priority is to render all possible assistance to our passengers and crew members,” Goh said.

Following the incident, the plane made an emergency landing at Bangokok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Kittipong Kittikachorn, the general manager for the airport, said the deceased was a 73-year-old British man who suffered what appeared to be a heart attack or heart failure. BBC News has now identified the man as Geoff Kitchen, who had been traveling for a long-awaited trip with his wife.

Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok said 104 people were treated at its facility and 58 remain in the hospital, BBC News reported. Twenty of those hospitalized are in the ICU.

A relief flight took 131 passengers who were able to travel to Singapore Wednesday morning, Singapore Airlines said. Another five passengers will also head to Singapore Wednesday.

An additional 74 passengers and crew members remain in Bangkok, the airline said. This includes those receiving medical treatment and their loved ones. One other will travel to Singapore on Thursday.

A total of 211 passengers and 18 crew members had been aboard the flight that suffered the severe turbulence.

Singapore Airlines says it is fully cooperating with relevant authorities in an investigation of the incident.